The third race in the QIPCO British Champions Series Sprint category, Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes (renamed in 2012 in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee) is run on the last day of the Royal Meeting.
It boasts Lester Piggott as its most successful jockey and Vincent O’Brien as its most successful trainer. You can’t get much better than that. In a vote for the greatest figure in the history of horseracing conducted by the Racing Post newspaper, O’Brien came first, with his long-standing stable jockey Piggott coming second.
O’Brien was the sort of man best described by what he did not achieve rather than what he did. The Irishman, in short, dominated National Hunt racing – three Grand Nationals in a row – dominated Flat racing – training six Derby winners – then helped set up the legendary Coolmore Stud. But even he could not claim to be associated with the Golden Jubilee’s most successful horse, Prince Charlie, who won the race three times in a row from 1872.
The Diamond Jubilee is run just four days after the Kings Stand Stakes on the first day of Ascot’s Royal Meeting, but some horses contest both races and the brilliant Australian-trained sprinter, Choisir, memorably wrote his name into the record books by winning them both in 2003. Blue Point then followed suit most recently in Godolphin blue in 2019.
Established in 1868 and originally known as the Cork and Orrery Stakes, the race was upgraded to Group 1 status and renamed to mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, before taking on its new title of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012. It is open to three-year-olds or older horses and is run over 6 furlongs (1,200 metres).
In 2014 Irish trainer Edward Lynam saddled both the winner of the King’s Stand Stakes (Sole Power) and the Diamond Jubilee with Slade Power, a remarkable achievement.
2020 was a year of firsts in the race. Hello Youmzain was victorious with jockey Kevin Stott aboard. Kevin was not only riding his first Group 1 winner but also his first Royal Ascot winner as well. A memorable double to tick off the list.
Current leading jockey: Tom Queally (2009 and 2017), Ryan Moore (2016 and 2018)
Current leading trainers: Aidan O’Brien (2010 and 2018)